(Pocket-lint) – When FromSoftware announces a game, you can bet your life people pay attention. Its long string of hits, starting with Demon’s Souls (recently remastered in excellent style), running through the Dark Souls saga, Bloodborne and Sekiro, has earned it one heck of a reputation.
If you take that game-making prowess and add in the plotting of George R. R. Martin, the author behind Game of Thrones, you’ve got a seriously enticing proposition – and that’s just what we’re looking at with Elden Ring. Find out everything you need to know, below.
Elden Ring trailer and release date
Elden Ring was announced with a nice and splashy trailer, embedded below, at E3 in 2019, and then we were treated to literally years of radio silence, with absolutely no news to speak of. The trailer had absolutely loads to go on in terms of themes and ideas, but it was still a pretty tough time.
Now that’s all changed – 2021’s Summer Games Fest live kickoff stream ended with a bang, debuting an extended new trailer, which you can view above, full of reveals and even glimpses of gameplay. Plus, we got an all-important release date reveal: January 21 2022.
Elden Ring platforms
FromSoftware has a chequered history when it comes to releasing its games on different platforms – some of them, like Demon’s Souls in both incarnations and Bloodborne have been PlayStation exclusives.
That doesn’t seem to be the case this time – we now know that the game will come out on every platform you could hope for, including PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One. Plus, for the first time for FromSoftware, PC players will get a day-and-date launch as well.
However, at the moment it looks like owners of next-gen consoles won’t necessarily be able to buy specific versions for their new hardware – instead, buying the PS4 or Xbox One version of Elden Ring will net you a free upgrade to the next-gen version as well. It’s a system that’s worked fine for plenty of other titles, after all.
Elden Ring story
Here’s where things get really juicy – George R. R. Martin has co-created this dark fantasy world along with Hidetaka Miyazaki, the mastermind behind the Souls series. That’s an amazing team-up, and also brings together two absolute specialists in bleak surprises.
The trailers paint a scene of a shattered world, and the game’s official website sheds a bit more light. Elden Ring is set in the Lands Between, which have been thrust into conflict by the shattering of the Elden Ring, which seemingly protects the Erdtree (that huge shining tree in the background of the trailer, we’re guessing).
With shards of the Elden Ring having been seized by various nasty bosses, we’re thinking you’ll be tasked with defeating them in turn and reclaiming those pieces to recreate the ring – that sounds like a fairly doable FromSoftware kind of structure.
Elden Ring gameplay
Elden Ring looks like a big step for FromSoftware – multiple sources including Phil Spencer from Xbox have discussed it being the studio’s biggest and most ambitious game yet. Part of that appears to be related to a wider gameplay scope.
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We still expect to see loads of challenging combat encounters, of course, and the game is again a third-person action RPG, but there’s going to be a lot more options for players. For one thing, we now know that magic will be a big part of the world – it’s big in the Souls games, too, but sometimes feels more like an addition than a core gameplay tenet.
Similarly, the new footage contains loads of gameplay on horseback, confirming a new way to get around a bigger open world, a first for FromSoftware. That world will be traversable on your own or with others through online multiplayer, and it all sounds a little less opaque than multiplayer in other FromSoftware games.
That open-world format is also big news, of course, and will be a major change for FromSoftware. However, Miyazaki has confirmed they’re not going all-out to imitate something like The Witcher 3 – there won’t be towns full of NPCs to talk to or get quests from. Rather the open world will be available to seamlessly explore as what we hope will be like a tied-together set of FromSoftware’s already expansive levels.
As in the Souls games, there will be character customisation, too. Hopefully, it can take a leaf from the remake of Demon’s Souls, and let us create people who don’t look like potatoes – always a bonus!
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.